In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.
We have been thinking and talking about expectant obedience this week. So far we've talked a lot about obedience but not so much about expectation or expectancy. It was probably Plato who first articulated clearly the idea of cause and effect, and the concept has taken root deep within the shared human psyche, largely because in this world, it accurately reflects our experience. Nothing happens without a cause and to a large extent, the same cause tends to produce similar effects.
We can tend to transfer this kind of thinking to God, assuming that if we do things that please Him, He will be more likely to answer our prayers or to want to bless us in some way.
But that is not how it works with God. Remember, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom 5:8). We forget that the cause is God's love for us, not our obedience or righteousness. When we forget that we can become so focussed on trying to 'earn' God's favour that we stop electing him to do anything because we know that we have failed to live up to His exacting standards.
What a blessing that we can wake up each day, regardless of the events of the day before and expect God to show up in our lives throughout the day. In this light, our obedience is not about earning God's favour but rather a response to it that positions us to see and experience God's favour most clearly.
Lord Jesus, Help me to remember that you are the cause of God's grace and mercy towards me and not anything that I have done. May the effect of your love and mercy in my life be one that draws others into that same love and mercy. Amen
Today's devotion written by Mathew von Stanke, LifeWay Newcastle